Measuring What Matters Most

To measure the skills and knowledge that matter most today, states are adopting or creating tests that utilize time, technology and questioning techniques much differently than when we were in school. Many newer tests take more time as students are required to do more writing and thinking. Some are adaptive and on the computer. Each relies on students to provide a greater degree of evidence to justify their thinking.

The resources below offer state and local education leaders and policymakers materials to help advocate for higher quality assessments. The map immediately below links to state-specific advocacy papers that make the case for higher quality state tests that measure the most important skills. Further below, we’ve collected other helpful resources and tools from around the country.


State Specific Briefing Papers

In February 2017, Education First produced a brief about why higher-quality state tests matter for student learning—and the importance of not just hoping your test is of high-quality but asking teachers, higher education leaders and researchers to verify. To help advocates make the case to policymakers, we also created a customized version of the brief for every state, using data from Georgetown University about how jobs—and the skills and knowledge students needs to be learning (and tests should be measuring)—are evolving.

Click here for the generic brief or on a state below to download the state specific brief. We deliberately left blank space in the top right corner of the first page for organizations to add their logo if they wish. Or feel free to cut-and-paste any of the copy and graphics into your own materials, to further customize.